The vaccine: Are people finally going out again?

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Paris Fietsam

For the first time since the start of the pandemic, parking lots around restaurants are seen completely packed.

Paris Fietsam, Social Media Manager

Since the introduction of and increased use of the COVID-19 vaccine, many people have felt a new sense of hope amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

The vaccine is becoming increasingly available to the population, with 39% of the US population having received at least one dose of the vaccine. While many are hesitant about going out and returning back to “normal” life, some are going back to their old life to the fullest extent possible. 

Restaurants are facing a lot of changes due to the amount of people who are beginning to eat out again. Even on weeknights it is likely there will be a high wait time at more popular restaurants.

Senior Jack Umland has seen this first hand while working as a server at Tony Saccos in Eldridge. He has been working there for about five months, but recently he has noticed a huge change in the business. “We have been getting much busier, but I’m not sure if it is because people are less afraid of COVID-19 with the vaccine or if they are just enjoying the nice weather,” he explained.

Although they lost business throughout the pandemic, Umland sees some good behind this. “The pandemic honestly helped us as a new in-training business, it allowed more space between tables which helped us newer employees handle the rush a little easier and actually be able to take care of our customers,” he stated.

This has not only impacted restaurant workers, but the community as a whole. Everywhere in the Quad Cities, businesses have been blooming, and streets are constantly lined with cars. Getting the vaccine has provided many with a new sense of security and safety. 

However, some have not changed their daily routine despite receiving the vaccine. Many people are still hesitant to go out again or are nervous about how protective the vaccine truly is.

PV alumna Callahan Morton has been cautious about COVID-19 since the first lockdown. Even when restaurants opened up, she neglected to go to them until two weeks after her second dose of the vaccine. Since getting vaccinated, she has felt much more comfortable eating out again, taking off her mask when she is six feet away from others and spending time with other vaccinated individuals without wearing a mask.

Although she has had many changes since receiving the vaccine, she has not returned to her life before COVID-19. “Although I have been much more comfortable with going out and doing things, I still follow CDC guidelines and wear masks out,” she explained.

There are lots of mixed ideas and feelings about how life will continue post mass-vaccination. While some are rushing to go back out into the world, others are still staying very cautious.